'Under the Banner of Heaven,' Andrew Garfield and Gil Birmingham discuss, and why the Show fails to provide adequate answers

'Under the Banner of Heaven,' Andrew Garfield and Gil Birmingham discuss, and why the Show fails to  ...

The limited series Under the Banner of Heaven (from FX and can be downloaded on Hulu) follows Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield), a devout member of the LDS Church, and his former partner Bill Taba (Gil Birmingham). As he examines his own faith in ways he never had anticipated, Pyre is drawn to the truth.

During this interview with Collider, your co-stars talked about the dynamics between their characters, how much they enjoyed spending time with each other, the good match of their Zodiac signs, finding the balance in a tricky character like Bill Taba, and how privileged Garfield was to get the call about doing this role, and exactly what Taba might be up to when the audience isnt seeing him.

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What did each of you enjoy about that split between your roles?

GARFIELD: It was a pleasure to learn about it. I had a good day.

BIRMINGHAM: I did it myself, too.

GARFIELD: Particular the downtime when we were not shooting. It was a long shoot. We were in Calgary for six months. It would have been unfavorable to get through without Gil snatching me between doses and knitting.

BIRMINGHAM: Knitting and reassigning each other of our love for each other.

GARFIELD: Yeah, it was a really enjoyable weekend. Gil is a great easy-to-love guy, generally, so that was my choice. Also, astrologically speaking, he is a Cancer and Im a Leo, and that''s just a fantastic match. They are the mother and father of the Zodiac. It''s just a positive experience, generally. Wouldnt you say?

BIRMINGHAM: As you would say, I would say it.

GARFIELD: It''s been reported.

So, there were no feeling of tortured guilt, and you didn''t want to get caught up between scenes without putting them down?

BIRMINGHAM: No, I am aware that there was no denying that kind of disagreement. If you like the material, you are doing well, in between the scenes, and it will just bury you.

GARFIELD: Yeah, that''s right. Yeah.

Gil, your character is most likely conjectured about these people who seem to just blindly disclose their truth. Hes also the one who made me laugh at some of his more sarcastic remarks. What it was like to find that balance, so that he is never crossing a line with how he treats people, but also without taking any responsibility for what he says?

BIRMINGHAM: I guess it''s the dry nature of Bill Taba, which I think is essentially myself, as well. But it''s difficult terrain to maneuver, especially in the situations faced with, with a different culture that hes not a part of. The realistic, emotional expression of, was playing these roles with this culture, and then me receiving the confidence of mine, it''s just a little levity that he has to possibly have for himself, to complete his job.

Andrew, the insight you gained in this book truly demonstrates the trajectory you''ve been on for the last few years. From reading this book and wondering who might adapt it, to developing yourself enough as an actor that when it was adapted, you get a call from the likes of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. What you should do as an actor, and you were given the opportunity to join a project that you already knew?

GARFIELD: Yeah. It was a privileged situation. When I read the book, I was 23 or 24, and I was just a struggle actor, and then, cutting to now, yeah, its odd, I have to admit. I''m always grateful for Dustin Lance Black''s and the producers for helping this project see the light of day. I''m always thankful. I have always had to give thanks and be grateful, and not give up any credit for it, especially. It''s also how I am

I think we all, as artists, want to make things that we feel deepened about. This book is something that I was incredibly profoundly grateful for since I first read it. Finally, while doing it with this ensemble, I learned to be extremely compassionate and incredibly compassionate. We all had a lot of pleasure, and it was so hard work. We both became part of this group, especially Wyatt [Russell] and Sam [Worthington, who were playing very dark roles in the plot. Thank God, they

This raises a lot of questions for your character when you play it. Do you feel like it provides any answers for yourself, or does it just increase your understanding of these types of things?

GARFIELD: Yeah, I believe it strengthens everything. It doesnt provide easy answers, but it does provide more questions. Perhaps one of the allegorical aspects of this story is that a questioning mind and a curious mind are essential to surviving in reality. As soon as we reach certainty, we enter a very narrow point of view that makes us do things that are extremely dark and evil.

I think the greater questioning, the greater we can be aware of, and the greater our conscience is. I think its vital to know that we never get that much. As soon as someone has been convinced themselves or has been convinced that they have solid answers that will lead them to a fundamentalist, extreme mode of being, were in real turmoil as a species. And evidently, were in real turmoil as a species.

Gil, what do you think your character was doing when we dont see him? What do you think he was up to, in his off time?

GARFIELD: That''s one of the most important questions.

BIRMINGHAM: I believe he''s probably watching those crime shows, such as 20/20, and getting suggestions on how to investigate.

GARFIELD: Hmm, I''m just watching YouTube go. I''m not afraid of holding the pistol.

BIRMINGHAM: That''s how I do it.

Under the Banner of Heaven is now available at Hulu.

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